Trusts urged to adopt whistleblowing code
Whistleblowing charity Public Concern at Work is calling for healthcare organisations to become early adopters of its code of practice.
The code calls on employers to maintain the confidentiality of those who raise concerns when requested and provide clear assurances to all staff that they will not face reprisal.
It also calls for greater oversight of whistleblowing arrangements by non-executive directors, or equivalent, and a review of how effectiveness these arrangements are.
The charity has launched “The First 100” campaign to get 100 employers to agree to abide by the code.
PCAW chief executive Cathy James said: “Organisations in the health sector should already be doing most of what is set out in this code of practice.
“[But] we want to be in a position to champion those organisations who are prepared to commit to the gold standard – this should be an easy race to the top,” she said.
The charity also wants regulators to use the code when assessing the whistleblowing arrangements of those they regulate.
Ms James added: “There is still much to be done to combat the damaging perception that to be a whistleblower you have to be a brave soul prepared to risk everything in order to prevail. We must work harder to ensure that it is safe and accepted to speak up in our public services.”
She also highlighted the Nursing Times Speak out Safely campaign and said she hoped the two initiatives might mean the NHS could “start to turn the corner” on raising concerns.